Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When politicians kiss
  • Last Updated: 12:39 AM, April 23, 2013
  • Posted: April 23, 2013
When politicians exchange kisses, it’s best to watch their hands — there’s usually money being exchanged, too. So it was last week when Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz endorsed Christine Quinn for mayor with a peck on the cheek.
Council Speaker Quinn’s campaign called the move “one of the most high-profile endorsements to date.” But it came after she showered more than $1 million in taxpayer money on non-profits Markowitz created.
As Crain’s New York reported, since 2011 Quinn has steered $450,000 in City Council slush funds to Marty’s Seaside Summer Concert Series, another $400,000 to his Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series and $175,000 to his group Best of Brooklyn.

Theodore Parisienne
Chris Quinn & Marty Markowitz

The concerts have helped keep Markowitz in office for decades. Marty puts on a party and soaks up the credit for his free summer concerts, giving him real political capital in Brooklyn. Now the setup is helping steer Quinn into Gracie Mansion.
It’s a simple con, but it does violence to the civic order: Council leaders should not be able to ladle out taxpayer money to aid fellow politicians and buy their loyalty.
In his endorsement, Marty called Quinn a “visionary.” The truth is, she’s just sharp enough to see that Marty’s endorsement can be bought — with your money.
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